E-Commerce Competition In India’s Festive Season 2021

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Within a week, e-commerce competition between the two large e-commerce companies, India's largest startup (Flipkart) and US-based corporation (Amazon), is trending.

How Did The E-Commerce Competition Start?

Flipkart and Amazon India, two of the largest e-commerce platforms in India, did something unusual over the weekend.

Following Amazon's announcement that it would begin its month-long festive sale on October 4, the other e-commerce competition Walmart-owned Flipkart announced it would move its event to October 3 from October 7.

In response, Amazon India announced on Sunday morning that it would begin its sale on October 3.

The Diwali festive season has always been a critical holiday for e-commerce companies in terms of gross sales.

The Story Behind The Cutthroat E-Commerce Competition

However, they are similar to earlier fiercely contested e-commerce competition and battle, culminating in back-to-back changes in their sale dates.

Binny Bansal had publicly blasted Amazon in 2016, stating that the company failed to push “Affoetida” and “Churan” during the festive season to boost sales.

Amit Agarwal, the head of Amazon India, fired back, saying the company's “one-minded focus on its customers means it will sell everything they deem necessary during the festive season.”

The Economic Times interviewed multiple sources to understand what motivated the two officials to make public announcements about their sales events.

It has been difficult for online retailers to tap into the potential of consumer demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but people with knowledge of the issue said some do not want to get in late.

The date change was prompted by the fear of a third Covid-19 wave as the e-commerce competitors are trying to beat one another.

The e-commerce industry is seeing good sales growth, but neither wants to miss the consumer demand or the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

Consumers have been comparing the products across the two platforms, so the sales should all take place simultaneously and not one week apart.

The Marketing Approach Of To Overcome E-Commerce Competition

Marketing Plan and Strategy

It is unclear if consumers will show the same appetite for longer-term spending after a rival platform aggressively with its sales plans.

Simple logic, isn't it?

As consumers prepare to spend, they don't want to risk losing out on the opportunity; what if the third wave brings up an unpleasant shock?

In addition, Reliance Industries and the Tata Group are entering the e-commerce market.

They realise now that they have to be aggressive since two new entrants (RIL and Tata) have emerged, and they have to grab as many customers as possible before new entrants go big.

Every one of them is fighting for the wallet of the consumer and the business of deal seekers.

TCM Sundaram, Founder & MD at venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures, said October 3 is a Sunday, which could be a big day for e-commerce.

And that came out to be true!

Kearney partner Arpit Mathur said mixed signals were causing consumers to be uncertain about the survey results.

It was interesting to know how customers would react to the e-commerce industry after a nasty hit by COVID's second wave.

After the second wave, it took a bit longer for consumers to adjust to e-commerce, but it eventually picked up.

Before this year, it was easier to predict demand. However, this year is more challenging.

In addition, retailers would not want to miss out on consumer acquisition at this time.

In the past, Flipkart and Amazon's Diwali sales events began on the same day, but that no longer is the case.

Unlike in years past, Amazon now holds Diwali sales for a month rather than the usual five-day Great Indian Festival sale-commerce festive sales of Amazon and Flipkart typically surpass those of the previous year.

The Perspective of E-Commerce Competitors And Sellers

Industry sources said they are confident of a strong festive season, but the events of Sunday set the stage for an exciting battle this year.

These changes were part of an effort to maintain customer trust and sellers' interests, Amazon said.

A note from Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the changes in Big Billion Days demonstrate how Flipkart is empowering both consumers and sellers engaged with the platform throughout the sale period to have a ‘deep positive impact' on their lives.

According to Economic Times, neither of the platforms disclosed the dates to them before the deadline.

According to the seller, the indications are suitable for a successful Diwali sale.

Comparison Of Gross Merchandise Value (GMV)

Gross Merchandise Value (GVM)

This week, the Economic Times reported that Flipkart, Amazon, and others may have seen a record gross merchandise value (GMV) of $9 billion throughout the festive season, citing data from market research firm RedSeer.

This is also the first time that Economic Times reported that Flipkart Group, which operates the fashion portal Myntra, was in line to register a 50% growth in its annualised gross merchandise value at about $23 billion.

Globally, Flipkart and Myntra generated individual GMVs of 12.5 billion and 2 billion in 2020, respectively, according to a wealth management firm Bernstein report.

Over the same period, Amazon India racked up a GMV of $11.5 billion.


The reality is that this Festive Season (2021), it would be exciting to see how:

  1. Do the sellers react to the festive season?
  2. The consumers think and approach towards sale after the COVID's second wave impact?

Flipkart or Amazon will be more successful at driving more sales in the e-commerce market? Is it possible that the third wave of COVID (if it occurs) will affect the business of these two companies?

Also, I think Tata and Reliance will succeed in making their positions within the pre-existing competitive e-commerce market. What do you think?

I know that's many questions! If you have your opinion and answer to the questions, then comment below. I would be pleased to read them.

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